Los Angeles Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Arrested for petty theft? Let us fight your charges.
Shoplifting is stealing something from a store; the legal term for shoplifting
is petty theft. You shoplift if you intend to take something that does
not belong to you from a store without paying for it, and you do so, or
try to. Shoplifting also includes switching labels on merchandise in order
to get a better price for your purchases. All shoplifting charges come
with consequences. Shoplifting can be a serious crime, depending on the
value of the property stolen and a person's prior criminal record
in regard to theft.
In most cases, first offenses are charged as misdemeanors and are punishable
by a small fine and up to three years of informal probation, even for
a teen or juvenile offender. In some cases, a first shoplifting offense
can be reduced to an infraction, thus eliminating any criminal record.
Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at our firm for a no-charge
consultation to learn about your legal options. We offer our clients aggressive
representation, with over 70 years of combined experience.
Petty Theft and Shoplifting Penalties
Generally referred to as shoplifting, petty theft is the unlawful taking
of someone else's property with the intent to deprive the owner of
the property permanently.
Petty theft is usually charged as a misdemeanor on the first offense, and the value
of the property stolen is valued under $950. Petty theft is punishable
by a fine, up to six months in county jail, and three years of informal
probation. Petty theft is charged as a felony if you have three or more
prior theft convictions under Penal Code section 666.
This felony conviction is punishable by 16 months to three years in state
prison. The value of the property stolen is determined by the property's
reasonable and fair market value. When shoplifting involves stolen property
that is valued at more than $950, the charge can be elevated to
grand theft. Grand theft can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony under
Penal Code section 487, and is punishable by up to one year in county
jail or 16 months to three years in state prison.
Fight the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
Most shoplifting charges are proven by evidence through the store video
camera, loss prevention staff, security staff, or other witnesses. The
specific intent of the person who committed the crime does not need to
be proven. In most instances, you cannot use mental illness, medication,
drug or alcohol-related problems as an excuse for shoplifting. If the
case is a factually weak one (for example, few witnesses), it is possible
that these charges can be reduced to a trespass charge or dismissed altogether.
It is critical that you fight your theft charges because the stakes are high.
Theft convictions are classified as crimes of moral turpitude, which means
that California licensing boards will reference a theft conviction as
a reason to deny licenses and certifications (real estate license, nursing
license, and contractor's license). Theft convictions are seen by
prospective employers as acts of dishonesty justifying denial of employment.
theft convictions can come with immigration consequences for immigrants who are seeking
a green card, visa, and U.S. citizenship.
Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners for a Free Consult
Theft charges require the legal expertise and negotiating abilities of
skilled legal counsel. In the event that there is a conviction, an experienced
criminal defense lawyer is your best chance to take advantage of jail
alternatives such as house arrest or electronic monitoring. Our shoplifting
attorneys will discuss your rights, possible defenses, and your legal
options in order to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer
when you have been arrested for stealing from a retail store.
We will review your case for free!